Chinese regulators swarm Microsoft offices over antitrust concerns: Another move to erode U.S. tech firms' influence in China?


Microsoft is in a world of problems right now after Chinese officials raid four of its offices in China. The software company had no idea why the officials were there, until it was made clear that the raids were on the grounds of an anti-trust investigation.

This raid likely came as a shock to Microsoft since the company has been working closely with the Chinese government ever since Windows 8 was banned from all government offices. This latest stunt should be seen as proof that things are not working out as planned for Microsoft, and something else must be done to protect the company's interest in the market.

Officials from the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, which handles the investigation of antitrust matters, visited four of Microsoft offices on Monday.

Microsoft confirmed that it has been in close contact with the Chinese government, and that it will corporate fully with regulators, though the company declined to give any further statements on the matter at hand.

"We aim to build products that deliver the features, security and reliability customers expect, and we will address any concerns the government may have," the company said in a statement.

This news comes two months after the Chinese government banned Windows 8 from all computers in government offices across the country, so it appears that the government is targeting Microsoft for reasons that have little to do with this antitrust investigation. It is likely the Chinese government is still reeling from the Edward Snowden leaked documents, and wants to limit the amount of influence American companies have in the country.

In recent times, China also took aim at Apple and the location tracking feature on the iPhone. The country called this a national security issue, though Apple denied it.

Strangely enough, while Windows 8 and Microsoft itself is under the Chinese radar, the Xbox One seems to be safe as the console is set to launch in China in September. What might happen after that is still up in the air as the Chinese government has proved to be quite unpredictable in its actions.

Since the NSA debacle, U.S. technology companies such as Cisco and IBM have experienced a decline in sales as the Chinese government is slowly but surely erasing U.S. tech firms influence in the country. In the long term, this could be a huge issue for U.S.-based companies since China is a lucrative market, and because the country could become the largest economy in a few years.

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